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Title: Reconceptualising the relationship between employment and mental health: Towards a relevant social model of economic exclusion?
Author: Page, Dominic Matthew Earl
Awarding Body: University of the West of England, Bristol
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis presents empirical evidence regarding the labour market experiences of people with mental health disabilities. It analyses data from the third wave of the Labour Force Swvey (LFS) (2007) in conjunction with qualitative,data collected between 2006 and 2009. Sixty-four people reporting mental health disabilities with a range of employment statuses, both active and inactive were interviewed regarding their labour market experiences. This research addresses a significant gap in the academic literature. While there has been noteworthy research establishing that people with mental health disabilities experience disadvantage in the labour market, influential medical concepts of disability continue to effect subsequent explanations for such patterns. From such a perspective, the exclusion of people with mental health disabilities is essentially rational; they are impaired and are inherently less employable. The evidence from this thesis challenges such conceptualisations of mental health. It adopts a social model of disability whilst recognising and addressing it has limitations in the case of mental health. The thesis presents clear quantitative and qua1itative evidence of economic exclusion. Evidence from the LFS demonstra tes that, of all disabled groups, those self-reporting mental health disabilities were the most likely to express a desire for employment, yet amongst the least likely to be employed. In addition, there was clear evidence of underemployment, with panicipants reporting a reliance on part-time or temporary work despite a desire for full-time, permanent work. Qualitative data challenges the dominant stereotype of people with mental health disabilities as less employable as a direct result of the impairments associated with the ir illnesses. Instead these patterns were largely perceived as being the result of society's reaction to mental ' illnesses' and subsequent creation of a variety of individual. organisational, structural and institutional barriers to employment. This provides the basis of a relevant social model that does not deny the presence or importance of the very real symptoms of mental health disabilities, but argues that these do not necessarily have to result in labour market disadvantage.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available